June 17 2019

Stop Gut-Hooking Striped Bass, By Using This Type Of Circle Hook


Ryan Collins

Effective next year (2020) recreational anglers not fishing aboard for-hire vessels will be
required to use inline circle hooks when fishing for striped bass in Massachusetts with whole or cut natural baits.

Since inline circle hooks will soon be required by law, I figured now would be a great time to start talking about my #1 most favorite type of circle.

Without a doubt my favorite type of circle hooks are Trokar in-line circles. Over the past several years I've experimented with several different styles of circle hooks, with the Trokar in-line circle performing the best.


So far this June my crew members and I have caught and released more than 20 bass using size 5/0 and size 6/0 Trokar circle hooks, and I'm happy to say that we have not hooked a single fish deep!

The hook is almost always in the striper's lip or corner of the jaw, making for a quick and healthy release. ?

Fishing Live Mackerel With Trokar Circle Hooks

Today I have a new video all about fishing live mackerel using Trokar inline circle hooks.

This video was filmed during this memorable trip which occurred back on June 1st onboard my boat. 

Topics covered in the following video include:

  • 00:01-01:30 - information about sabiki rigs and catching mackerel 
  • 01:53-02:51 - information about Trokar circle hooks
  • 07:10-09:45 - information about the conventional rod and reel I like best for live-lining mackerel and other baitfish
  • 10:13-11:21 - general information about the type of area we are fishing

Equipment used in the video include:

The full 12 minute version of this video can only be accessed by members of My Fishing Cape cod. Please login or start a membership to watch the full 12 minute video.

If you are not a member of My Fishing Cape Cod, then you can still watch a preview of the video by clicking play below.

(or click here to learn more about membership benefits)

Circle Hook Giveaway!

Before I conclude this post, I'd like to give you a quick chance to win a package of size 6/0 Trokar circle hooks. 

Simply comment "I'm in!" below to be entered. ?

On Friday I will randomly select 2 winners out of everyone who leaves a comment. Each winner will receive a package of hooks!

*Please note that only members of My Fishing Cape Cod
are eligible to win this giveaway.*

I hope you have a great start to your week. Good luck if you are able to get out fishing! 

Be sure to let us know how things are going by posting in the forum.

Tight lines! ?

MFCC Members can enter the Giveaway!

By leaving a comment below.

  • Hey Ryan,
    Just joined, love fishing the Cape. Have gone out many times with Capt Dave Peros out of Falmouth.
    Going to give the upper Hudson a try. Herring are the bait in the river. How do you suggest I try to catch live herring, and what size circle hooks do you recommend, and should I hook the live herring below the dorsal or through the lips? River depths run about 30-40 feet and the big girls reportedly mostly hug the bottom.
    Thanks Much and looking forward to getting to know folks and getting back up to fish the Cape this summer!
    Tight Lines,

    • Hey Edward,

      It’s great to have you aboard MFCC! Captain Dave definitely knows where the fish are, especially when it comes to albies. I bet you’ve have many memorable experiences fishing with him.

      Are you referring to sea herring, or river herring? It is illegal to use river herring as bait in Massachusetts. Just wanted to check because I’d imagine it’s the same down in the Hudson area. I would either hook the bait through the nostrils or just behind the head.

      Keep me posted with anything else, and LMK if you have any questions as you work your way around MFCC.


  • Ryan –
    Hit the canal this AM at 3, no fish to be seen so being the nice guy that I am, at 6 I decided to leave all the fish in the ditch for others to enjoy. Did find it cool watching a trawler seemingly appear out of nowhere thru the fog.
    Do you also recommend crimping the barb on the circle hook?

    • Hey John, that’s very nice of you to leave a few fish for the rest of us! LOL ?

      Crimping the barb on the circle hook would definitely make it even easier to release the fish, but honestly it’s not something I usually do.

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